The holiday season is upon us, and for many this also means the onset of constant stress. Maybe it’s the thought of spending a lot of time with family and in-laws or maybe it’s coordinating travel. It could even be the stress of a tight budget with a growing list of holiday expenses. Whatever the reason, the holidays, while often one of the most joyful times of year, often cause significant stress.
Unfortunately, we cannot control all the aspects in life that cause us stress. It’s not up to us what traffic will be like on a given day. What we can do, however, is control our reactions to these stressors and try to mitigate situations before they overwhelm us.
I’m sure we’ve all experienced a moment when we don’t recognize or like the image of ourselves reflected back from those around us. The important thing is to force ourselves to be self-aware, and to pay equal attention not to how we ourselves behave, but how other perceive and respond to our behaviors.
Exploring cities and going to the theater are two of my favorite things to do in the entire world, and it’s hard to beat New York City as a destination for both. Despite loving the theater, I find walking around Broadway, the beating heart of New York’s theater district, to be one of the most anxiety-inducing and chaotic experiences a person can have.
If success isn’t only defined by status, power, and money, then what does it mean to be successful, and how do you know when you’re there? It all comes down to having a clear picture of what success looks like for you. Think about the times in your life you have felt like your best, true self.
By all external measures, I was very successful: my bosses loved and trusted me, my team thrived under my supervision, and my colleagues saw me as a capable leader who got things done. But internally, I was miserable -- miserable to the point of barely functioning, with clinical depression levels of burnout.
More and more, you hear stories of people who achieve what they think of as markers of success, only to find themselves thinking, “Is that all there is? This is what I busted my butt for?” or “Now what?” We all know people who have high-power jobs or great salaries but they’re miserable, overly stressed and unfulfilled. So why don’t they feel successful?
The word “tolerate” is most often used about people or behaviors we don’t particularly like, but put up with for the sake of harmony. It’s the “I can live with it” standard. For me, identifying aspects of my work that I tolerate means identifying opportunities for change!
There are many different ways to “be organized,” and the word “organized” means different things to different people. In order to identify the “right” approach, you need ask yourself some questions to figure out what problem you are trying to solve and define your short and long-term goals are for whatever system you put in place!
Well-written email templates and a comprehensive, logical customer relations workflow can be a game changer for small businesses. This case studies highlights my work helping a photographer maximize her time and ensure happy customers through some simple process improvements.
We don’t often see examples of the RIGHT way to have respectful discussions between opposing viewpoints. I recently came across an excellent podcast that shows just that: I highly recommend Dylan Marron’s podcast “Conversations with People Who Hate Me.”
Last but not least in my BBC binge review is the sweet, slightly sad sitcom The IT Crowd, which can serve as a cautionary tale about what happens when you neglect the very employees who keep your business up and running.
Despite all the hilarious mishaps and shenanigans in each episode of the BBC sitcom W1a, the scenes that I found most painfully to watch were the management team meetings, usually in response to a totally avoidable PR crisis. These scenes help me put together a series of tips you can use to ensure productive and painless meetings every time!
To TV audiences who automatically associate reality television with manufactured drama, outlandish antisocial behavior, and cruel criticism bordering on abuse, The Great British Bake Off is a breath of fresh air – or more accurately a breath of healthy competition and good sportsmanship. And while the judges, Mary and Paul, have to provide critique and make an elimination in every episode, they do so in a way that demonstrates utmost respect and consideration for the efforts and skills of the contestants.
This winter I was on a big BBC kick, and a few series left me with more substantial takeaways than just their pure entertainment value. They’ve also inspired some interesting insights into honest communication, strategies for productive meetings, and beneficial management practices.
You need to be wearing the right clothes to accomplish the mission. Going for a run? You need easy access to your running shoes. Going to the moon? You better know where your space suit is hanging. Onboarding a new team member? Your employee handbook should be the first thing you grab to prepare.
Is your “closet” at work set up to support your mission?
Books, movies, television shows, and advice columns have provided endless examples of pathologically bad managers – sometime played for laughs, sometimes played for horrors. Most bad managers are ineffective for far less dramatic reasons: they were never taught or mentored on how to be a manager, or they never wanted to be a manager in the first place.